Legenda is the MHRA’s book imprint for new research in the Humanities.
Founded in 1995 by Malcolm Bowie and others within the University of Oxford, Legenda has always been a collaborative publishing enterprise, directly governed by scholars. The MHRA joined this collaboration in 1998, became half-owner in 2004, in partnership with Maney Publishing and then Routledge, and has since 2016 been sole owner.
Titles range from medieval texts to contemporary cinema and form a widely comparative view of the modern humanities, including works on Arabic, Catalan, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Yiddish literature. Editorial boards and committees of more than 60 leading academic specialists work in collaboration with bodies such as the Society for French Studies, the British Comparative Literature Association and the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland.
Legenda's business affairs are governed by a Management Committee chaired by MHRA's Hon. Treasurer. Editorial decisions are taken by a Board consisting of the Chair of Legenda and of each series's general editor, ex officio. More than 60 academics sit on the Editorial Committees chaired by members of the Board.
- Chair: Jonathan Long (University of Durham)
- For Germanic Literatures: Ritchie Robertson (University of Oxford)
- For Italian Perspectives: Simon Gilson (University of Oxford)
- For Moving Image: John David Rhodes (University of Cambridge)
- For Research Monographs in French Studies: Diana Knight (University of Nottingham)
- For Selected Essays: Susan Harrow (University of Bristol)
- For Studies in Comparative Literature: Emily Finer (University of St Andrews)
- For Studies in Comparative Literature: Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS, London)
- For Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures: Professor Catherine Davies (Institute of Modern Languages Research)
- For Studies in Yiddish: Gennady Estraikh (New York University)
- For Transcript: Matthew Reynolds (University of Oxford)
- For Visual Culture: Carolin Duttlinger (University of Oxford)
- Managing Editor: Graham Nelson (University of Oxford)
The original Legenda series, with its distinctive blue cover, continues to present titles across a wide range of cultural topics.
Germanic Literatures includes monographs and essay collections on literature originally written not only in German, but also in Dutch and the Scandinavian languages. Within the German-speaking area, it seeks also to publish studies of other national literatures such as those of Austria and Switzerland. The chronological scope of the series extends from the early Middle Ages down to the present day.
While the focus of Germanic Literatures is on written culture, Legenda also publishes on German film and television in the Moving Image series. Material on Yiddish literature and culture would similarly find a natural home with Studies in Yiddish.
Italian Perspectives publishes books and collections of essays on any aspect and period of Italian literature, language, history, culture, politics, art, and media, as well as studies which take an interdisciplinary approach and are methodologically innovative. At a time of growing academic interest, the series aims to bring together different scholarly perspectives on Italy and its culture.
Moving Image takes the moving image seriously—as an object of theoretical speculation and historical analysis and a medium of aesthetic complexity—and takes seriously, as well, the material practices out of which moving images emerge and into which they intervene.
Moving Image seeks to publish challenging and innovative work on contemporary and historical film and moving-image media work. Its distinguished history as a series includes an emphasis on European cinema; art cinema; avant-garde cinema; the intersection of film and philosophy; and the relationship of cinema to new media; the intersection of the moving image and the museum. We seek to build on this history of achievement but also to expand it in new directions. We continue to encourage proposals that speak to our existing strengths in the aforementioned areas, but we also invite proposals for projects that engage with or emerge from a much broader field of research areas. These include:
Research Monographs in French Studies are selected, edited and supported by the Society for French Studies. The series seeks to publish the best new work in all areas of the literature, language, thought, history, politics, culture and film of the French-speaking world and to cover the full chronological range from the medieval period to the present day. Proposals are accepted for monographs of up to 85,000 words, while proposals for ‘short’ monographs (50,000–60,000 words), a traditional strength of the series, are still welcomed.
Each title in Selected Essays presents influential, but often scattered, papers by a major scholar in the Humanities. While these essays will, we hope, offer a model of scholarly writing, and chart the development of an important thinker in the field, the aim is not retrospective but to gather a coherent body of work as a tool for future research. Each volume contains a new introduction, framing the debate and reflecting on the methods used.
Selected Essays is curated by Professor Susan Harrow (University of Bristol).
Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures are selected and edited by the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Ireland. The series seeks to publish the best new research in all areas of the literature, thought, history, culture, film, and languages of Spain, Spanish America, and the Portuguese-speaking world.
The Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Ireland is a professional association which represents a very diverse discipline, in terms of both geographical coverage and objects of study. Its website showcases new work by members, and publicises jobs, conferences and grants in the field.
Studies in Comparative Literature are produced in close collaboration with the British Comparative Literature Association, and range widely across comparative and theoretical topics in literary and translation studies, accommodating research at the interface between different artistic media and between the humanities and the sciences.
The British Comparative Literature Association aims to promote the scholarly study of literature, across languages and borders, national or other. We explore literature in relation to other disciplines and translations between languages and media. BCLA's primary interests are in literature, the contexts of literature, and the interaction between literatures.
Studies in Yiddish is the only scholarly series in English that is dedicated to Yiddish, a transnational language whose interesting, if sometimes tragic, history spans more than a thousand years. Its high and low literary and non-literary texts and practices have been of central importance not only to Jewish existence and history but also to the wider cultural and creative life in Central and Eastern Europe, Israel and the New World. The series regularly publishes the proceedings of the International Mendel Friedman Conference, which is convened every two years at the University of Oxford. In addition, the series includes monographs and edited volumes on all aspects of Yiddish language and culture, and proposals for new publications are welcomed.
Transcript publishes books about all kinds of imagining across languages, media and cultures: translations and versions, inter-cultural and multi-lingual writing, illustrations and musical settings, adaptation for theatre, film, TV and new media, creative and critical responses. We are open to studies of any combination of languages and media, in any historical moments, and are keen to reach beyond Legenda’s traditional focus on modern European languages to embrace anglophone and world cultures and the classics. We are interested in innovative critical approaches: we welcome not only the most rigorous scholarship and sharpest theory, but modes of writing that stretch or cross the boundaries of those discourses.
Visual Culture reflects the dynamism of a vibrant and fast-growing field which showcases the interdisciplinary nature of research in Modern Languages and the Humanities more generally. The series publishes cutting-edge monographs and edited collections on any aspect of global visual culture from the Middle Ages to the present day. In line with this expansive scope, areas of interest include photography, advertising, memorials, urban visual studies, installation and performance art, commercial art and design, museum and gallery studies, and text-image relations in a variety of media and contexts.
Books in the Visual Culture series are fully illustrated. As with all Legenda publications, they are initially published in hardcover and ebook editions, and subsequently as affordable paperbacks.
Studies in Linguistics presented monographs and collaborative volumes on a wide range of topics in linguistics, particularly European languages and their historical development.
The Special Lecture Series was a forum to publish the annual Zaharoff Lectures at the University of Oxford, and has now been discontinued, but some copies may still remain available for sale. Note that Legenda does not own copyrights to these texts and cannot licence them: any rights enquiries should be made to the respective authors.